Saturday, July 22, 2017

1899 John C Vaughan's Seed Store in Chicago & New York

1899 Vaughn's Seed Store in Chicago & New York. This company was established by John Charles Vaughan (1851-1924) as a small business in Chicago, IL. in 1876. It offered wholesale seed & horticultural supplies primarily through catalog sales. When John Charles Vaughan was born on April 24, 1851, in Chicago, Illinois, his father, Oramel, was 40 and his mother, Sylvia, was 29. Both of his parents were from Pennsylvania. John Charles Vaughan married Martha Throop, and they had 3 children together. He then married Mattie Theoop Vaughan, and they had 1 son together. Vaughan's company letterhead shows locations at 47-49 Barclay Street, New York, N.Y. and 10-12 W. Randolph, Street, Chicago. The business eventually grew to include 5 greenhouses and nurseries in Western Springs, IL. becoming one of the major employers in the community. John Charles Vaughan of Chicago, Illinois–started out selling nursery stock but began selling seeds, when his customers started asking for seed.  He opened his 1st store, called Vaughan’s Seed Store, in the "loop" of Chicago in 1876. Later the greenhouse trade started asking for horticultural supplies, & the Vaughan Seed Company expanded their business to include those supplies. Vaughan issued 8 different catalogs annually, each one designed for a specific market.  Its Corn & Potato Manual of 1882 addressed its customers in academic terms to satisfy a growing public interest in scientific agriculture. It was filled with dissertations on botany, chemistry, & biblical references to plants. The company was later headed by Leonard Holden Vaughan & then John C. Vaughan II.  In the late 1950s, the company bought the Merion Bluegrass seed market & became one of the dominant figures in the grass seed market. It was during this time that the company expanded outside of Chicago to Bound Brook, New Jersey.  With the expansion of the business in the 1960s, the company moved to Downers Grove, Illinois.  At that time they discontinued their home garden catalog & concentrated on the commercial market. In 1972, the company bought the Jacklin Seed Co., Inc. of Dishman, Washington.   The company then became known as the Vaughan-Jacklin Corp.  Many other companies were absorbed into the business in the 1970s. In July 1989, Sandoz Corp. purchased the company, & then Novartis Seeds purchased the Sandoz Corp.   Novartis Seeds is now the world’s second largest seed company.  The U.S. headquarters remain in Downers Grove, Illinois.  Today the company operates in 3 major areas: horticultural plant products, plastic products, & grass seed production & marketing.

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